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Mark S. Reiter

Associate Professor
Mark Reiter
Soils and Nutrient Management
Virginia Tech Eastern Shore AREC
33446 Research Drive


  • Ph.D. Crop, Soil, and Environmental Sciences, Univ. of Arkansas, 2008
  • M.S. Agronomy and Soils, Auburn University, 2003
  • B.S. Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences, Virginia Tech, 2001


  • 2014 – Present - Associate Professor and Extension Specialist, Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences, Eastern Shore Agricultural Research and Extension Center, Virginia Tech, Painter, Va
  • 2008 – Present - Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist, Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences, Eastern Shore Agricultural Research and Extension Center, Virginia Tech, Painter, Va.
  • 2004 – 2008 - Senior Graduate Assistant, Crop, Soil, and Environmental Sciences, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Ark.
  • 2001 – 2003 - Graduate Teaching/Research Assistant. Agronomy and Soils, Auburn University, Auburn, Ala.

Link to curriculum vita

The Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences Department's faculty and staff at the Eastern Shore AREC strive to fulfill the College of Agriculture’s key initiative of agricultural profitability and environmental sustainability. Major tasks are to assist producers, agency personnel, and other stakeholders with production, environmental, and political issues as they arise. Through troubleshooting and stakeholder contacts, topics for applied research for nutrient and soil management are discovered and research projects are implemented.

Assisting producers with nutrient and soil management concerns is the major focus of my research and Extension programs, which will increase producer’s productivity, efficiency, and profitability while increasing environmental sustainability. Research and Extension programs focus on all major vegetable and agronomic commodities in Virginia, including barley, cotton, field corn, soybeans, wheat, potatoes, sweet corn, snap beans, and tomatoes. Various studies we have implemented compare new and alternative fertilizer sources as well as new techniques for fertilizer application. Fertilizer management in conservation tillage oriented systems is a major focus to assist producers with evolving Extension recommendations. Environmental integrity of fertilizer programs is being tested through various methods of groundwater monitoring. Reducing nutrient loss is important environmentally and agronomically to increase overall fertilizer use efficiency. Research is presented at producer oriented and scientific venues.

Program Focus

The goal of my research program at Virginia Tech is to improve the efficiency, productivity, quality, and overall sustainability of Virginia’s grain, fiber, and vegetable farming sectors. Specifically, I focus on soil and nutrient management for the aforementioned production systems. I strive to develop innovative soil management and soil fertility strategies that utilize new technologies, new methods for fertilizer applications, and testing of new fertilizer sources that will increase overall productivity and reduce nutrient losses to the environment (especially nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur).

Role of Graduate Students

Graduate students play an integral role in both my research and Extension programs. Graduate students are encouraged to develop their own research programs that has focus on major issues threatening Virginia’s row crop and vegetable sectors as well as the Chesapeake Bay. Projects may use innovative technologies, focus on a specific nutrient, or develop new soil management strategies and best management practices for the reduction of nutrient and sediment loss from production agricultural fields. Graduate students assist with daily field operations, data collection, laboratory procedures, data analysis, and presentation of data to interested stakeholders. Students routinely present their research data to local stakeholders via field days and producer meetings and to the scientific community via regional, national, and international conferences. 

Future Research

The driving force behind my research program is developing and providing Virginia producers with the necessary soil and nutrient management information that increases sustainability while improving their profit margins. Innovative fertilizer sources that recycle by-product nutrients (such as poultry litter and poultry litter ash) along with management strategies that increase overall fertilizer nutrient use efficiencies (such as precision Ag prescription maps) will continue to be a focus of my research program. I will also continue developing best management strategies that reduce soil erosion and improve overall soil tilthe to ensure that Virginia farmers are productive and economically viable for future generations.

Extension Program

My Extension program strives to provide pertinent information to growers, industry, and governmental agencies that will improve soil quality and nutrient use efficiencies. I network to stay current with other research being conducted and to integrate pertinent ideas into my own program that may be useful to Virginia farmers. New fertilizer sources and management strategies are tested on Agricultural Research and Extension Centers around Virginia and in commercial production fields. Newfound information is written into Extension publications and presented to growers and other stakeholders at field days, production meetings, and farmer oriented conferences. My favorite task is meeting and working with farmers, Extension agents, and other stakeholders around the Commonwealth to better understand the ever changing challenges being faced by Virginia farmers. From stakeholder input, I incorporate these new challenges and evolve my program to ultimately improve food and fiber production in Virginia.

Extension Philosophy

Dissemination of information to producers, Extension agents, and other stakeholders is imperative to having a pertinent and ever evolving Extension program. Information regarding alternative fertilizer sources, innovative agronomic cropping methods, novel cropping systems, and use of new technologies leads to information exchange to local, state, national, and international audiences at conferences, field days, production meetings, and through Extension publications. Ultimately, the most important and most satisfying task is assisting producers in their operations to become more efficient and profitable, while simultaneously reducing nutrient and sediment losses to the Chesapeake Bay. Being from a farm family myself, giving farmers the tools they need to survive in a global economy is a satisfying task both personally and professionally.

  • Reiter, M.S., D.W. Reeves, and C.H. Burmester. 2008. Cotton nitrogen management in a high-residue conservation system: Nitrogen source, rate, application method, and application timing. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 72:1330-1336.
  • Reiter, M.S., D.W. Reeves, C.H. Burmester, and H.A. Torbert. 2008. Cotton nitrogen management in a high-residue conservation system: Cover crop fertilization. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 72:1321-1329.
  • Toor, G.S., B.E. Haggard, M.S. Reiter, T.C. Daniel, and A.M. Donoghue. 2007. Phosphorus solubility in poultry litters and granulates: Influence of litter treatments and extraction ratios. Trans. ASABE 50(2):533-542.